Monday, April 28, 2014

Come to Zion...April 28th, 2014

I learned a lot this week.  I kind of was inside my head a lot, thinking and pondering and whatnot.  I had an experience that kind of changed me...or I guess, made me think.  What I learned was this:  it does not matter who we are or what we're doing, we are all Children of God.  We're all trying our best!  There is no need to put down or discourage.  We should lift up and encourage!  (:  I feel like I can't even get out a tenth of what I feel about this, but I am so certain and so passionate that we all have a purpose here!  We all have potential.  And we are all striving to get somewhere, to be someone, to do something!  Why do we put each other down?  Why do we have to tell someone they're not doing something well enough? They already know!  That is what this life is about, and if we knew how to do everything perfectly, there would be no point to this world.  Our purpose here is to become the people that God designed us to be.  We go through the things we do so that we can be shaped.  You do, I do, she does, even he does...So why do we judge the way someone else is trying to learn?  Why can't we just encourage them when they do something right!  Or when they do something better than before.  We are not experts ourselves, so why do we look down on others when they are not as well?  (I am speaking very generally.  This is to no one in particular; just a personal thought).  And since poems speak my mind the best (haha) I wrote one, of course!  I called it: We Are God's Children.
I'm no different than you.
No different, it's true.
Different color, different tune--
But no different than you.
And the world I live in
Is full of color and sound.
Sometimes it's made of sky,
Sometimes it's made of ground.
But maybe yours is black and white;
Like a silent film.
And that's alright!
Maybe yours is made of mountains and sand.
Or oceans and lakes;
But all were made by God's hand.
Just as He created
The flowers and trees,
He created both you and me.
And we're both on this earth
To learn and to grow;
To feel and experience,
To come to know.
To try and to fail,
And then to succeed:
I'm no different than you.
You're no different than me.
Mosiah 4:19
"For behold, are we not all beggars?  Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God...?"
We are all children of God (:  We all had God-like potential.  We all have different interests and talents, hobbies and ideas. We all come from different backgrounds with different families.  We all have a story and we all have an opinion.  But the thing that connects us all together so beautifully is our faith in Christ, and our Father in Heaven.  And it is because we are all different that we can truly learn and grow the way we were meant to from the beginning.  Because everyone has something different to offer to help us along the way.  
Zion is a state of being.  It is a state of being 'One.'  Therefore, we will truly come to Zion when we come to be united as One.  With one heart and one mind, standing together for the purpose of the Gospel.  
Shine on (:

Thursday, April 24, 2014

New horizons - April 22, 2014

There are trees everywhere!! And the brightest, sparkling stars at night.  Oh, how I have missed that!  Sometimes...well mostly everytime...I just stare out the window while we're driving (since we spend half of our day driving) and I just smile to myself (: Mm. I am in love.  So imagine this: a lot of the roads are like driving up the pass (both ways haha), but skinnier and steeper!  Random houses along the mountain tops. Wow, it is so wonderful!  We even get to drive a truck!! Finally! wahooo! 
We live in a member's home, The Allens. Our little home is next to theirs and it's a studio, so that's something to get used to.  Oh, and this is my favorite part of this story...I found a cute little scorpion in the shower the other day.  Welcome to AZ.  
We are in a Spanish and English ward!  First change right there...the Spanish have a WARD!  And we even meet in an actual church building with a stand and benches for seats! No more folding chairs!  (: I even was privileged to say the closing prayer in Sacrament meeting!  I don't know why that makes me so nervous...I think it was mostly because I am so used to praying in Spanish, since that's all I ever do, that praying in English is so hard!  
So last Pday we walked down the little strip mall right next to the border.  That was awesome!  Except for I got another Barbie comment!  What in the world haha I am not a barbie, people.  What a funny place.  I loved being there, though! It is practically Mexico.  It reminds me a lot of Mexico City, actually! Just 100 times less crowded and maybe a little cleaner. Maybe.
The members here are very kind (: I feel like I already am close to some of them! This one lady in our ward and I connected through our love for poetry! she started showing me all of her poems!  Kinda neat.  We stopped in at a member's home on Friday and she invited us right in and right into her family dinner!  I felt a little out of place at first, but it was realllly great! We had a literal, traditional Passover dinner!  We read how it went and we had all of the things and stuff.  Super neat!  (not real wine, though ha).  Aw (: and then Easter.  This little 5 year old boy came up to me with his sweet voice (: "did you know you are one of the Savior's servants?" I said, "yes! Did you know that you are, too?" and he said, "No, I'm 5.  Did you know that I love you?" haha he was so sweet!  I just love this life here.  We even got 3 Easter baskets (: yippee! 
So something that I have been learning a lot out here is what truly defines a good missionary.  I used to think that they were perfect...until I got out here and realized that I am still just me (: but what I am learning as I go is that, well, that doesn't change.  I am still me and these missionaries around me are still themselves. Yes, we are hopefully being refined as we go, but the things that make us us are still the same!  There is no magical change.  And so, I decided that the underlying thing that sets us apart from our same old self and a good missionary is love.  It is the love of Christ.  As we master that and let it refine us, we truly are changed.  The best missionaries know where their heart is, their mind follows and their strength and effort are in the work of the Lord.  They are not perfect in every aspect, but they sure try!  I surely hope that I am becoming the person that the Lord intended me to be! Even through my little quirks and things.  
I am so grateful for the Gospel of Christ and for His love and Atoning sacrifice that allows me to change everyday.  I know that He is the life and the way.  Be of good cheer! He has overcome the world.  (John 16:33) I just want to end with una poema. This is something I wrote as I realized a little bit more how personal the Savior's Atonement is to me.


For me;
They would pierce His mighty hands.
For me, 
He would loose death's great bands.
For me,
He cried out into the dark.
For me:
He felt the pleadings of my heart.
And yet, for Him,
I cannot repay the price.
But still, for me,
He comes with mercy in His eyes.
Though I do not fully perceive,
I know of truth, it was for me.
For me. 

Alma 7:11-12

Shine on.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Checkin' in at the Check Point--Rio Rico! April 15th, 2014

Today is transfer day (: And I left my wonderful family in Sahauro Branch
and came down to Rio Rico!  I am thrilled!  I just have sooo much
excitement in me right now!  I know that this will be an awesome transfer.
My new companion is Sister Solomon!
It was pretty awesome because at the start of this last transfer, we had
our usual zone meeting.  We were all walking over to Subway after and I
noticed Sister Solomon was walking by herself, and so was I!  (Everyone had
their little friends from past districts and they were catching up and
whatnot)...The thought came into my head: She's going to be my friend!  So
I walked up to her and started talking to her and we became instant friends
(: From that moment on, I knew I would be her companion next!  We got the
call last night about my transfer and I just got so excited! Before Elder
Wasden even finished his sentence I just burst out, "I knew it! I knew it!
I knew it!" haha I think his ears are still ringing as we speak. (:
But anyways! This last week in Sahauro was pretty good! We got a baptismal
date with our new investigator and he is so awesome!  I was sad to leave
him...but I was sad to leave everyone else, too! A pretty bitter-sweet
moment, indeed. We ran all around the town yesterday, saying goodbye to
everyone I could think of and that we could fit in.  I didn't have time to
say goodbye to everyone ): that was sad.  But I texted everyone I could
think of, too!  Wow. A lot of my heart is sure here in AZ.  It's incredible
how much you can love.  I have just been feeling overwhelming amounts of
love lately!  For everyone and everything.  I feel it overflowing and
refilling again and again.  I know I wouldn't be able to do this if that
wasn't the case.  We are truly watched over and supported by the One who
loves us best.
Oh my goodness! That reminds me of my Book of Mormon studies that I've been
having lately.  I just finished reading about the Lord's vineyard in Jacob
5.  Incredible!  As I was reading, it just completely overcame me.  The
Lord loves us SO much! He gives us the absolute best that will help us to
grow the most effectively and efficiently.  He is constantly watching over
us, doing every little thing in His power to help us!  And yet, sometimes
we still don't let Him!  How could we not let Him? He's given us everything
to succeed!  And it greiveth Him to lose one of us. He wants to see us grow
and become.  He wants to see us, in that great day, as good as He intended
us to be.  My best Sister Whitney (: sent me the most profound (I thought)
little thought ever!  She was expressing to me how the image of Peter
sinking in the water helped her through a little time of disbelief.  She
talked about how the Savior is right there the whole time! And how you
simply just have to ask for His help and His hand is already stretched
out.  Then she said this, "So walk on your disbeliefs!" "I can't drown. My
lifeguard walks on water!!!" Whew.  That pierced me to the core!  We cannot
fail when we are built upon the rock of our Redeemer!  So take the gift
He's mercifully given us.  USE it!  And remember that He has given you
every thing you need to succeed and be happy.  (: You just have to realize
Living and loving and learning.  (: Doesn't get better than that!
Shine on (:

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

So much love! April 7th, 2014

So I forgot to mention one thing in last weeks update.  haha We were at a member of the branch presidency's house for dinner.  His wife came in and asked us if we would do a musical number for sacrament meeting (meaning my companion and I and the Elders) and everyone just looked at each other and I popped up and said, "Claro, Hermana!" I was stoked that they asked us to participate and so I said yes without even taking a second thought about it.  When we left that dinner, everyone was just looking at me.  We got to our car and the Elders said, "you owe us!" And I was so confused, I didn't know why they looked a little upset and so I asked them what I owed them and they said cinnamon rolls. So I said, sure! Why not. haha and then when we got in the car I asked my companion why I owed them anything at all.  She looked at me and said, "Sister! I hate getting up in front of people!  And they are more shy than I am." haha whoops!  Well, we had a great time! And it went just lovely (; Sooo they all got to stretch themselves a little more last week, and I got to bake them cinnamon rolls.  What a fun day! haha I just thought that was so funny that I wanted to tell that story. 
Anyways! Last week was phenomenal! Surely another week on the roller coaster of this "other life" over here, but on the very up-hill slope!  Ready to glide on.  (: Pretty much just a change of attitude and a lot of faith will do the trick!  One thing I know with Everything that's in me is that things work out! They always do, they always will!  I know this.  And I know this because I see it every day of my life.  The key to this is to simply do what you are supposed to be doing, when you are supposed to be doing it, and wherever you are supposed to be!  God watches out for His children and if we do our part, He is surely to do His.  We never need to fear!  That was the common theme that I picked out of this General Conferencia! That we as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints never need to fear! Because God knows us and He knows what's best for us and in the right time.  What a beautiful thing that, when we grasp, will completely liberate us.  We will no longer be held down by the fear of what tomorrow could bring, and we will no longer hold on to the sadness we felt yesterday.  This life is a progression!  We cannot stand still, but we must be still and know that He is God; and then when we know that, we must walk forward and change! (: I am forever changed through my Savoir who has loved me enough to teach me trough tears, to enlighten me through example, and lift me through life.  There are many things I do not know, but what I do know is that I will know.  And so will we all.  There is no need to doubt in our Redeemer when He is allowing us to become someone better.  That is all a trial is good for.  Not for sorrowing, not for holding grudges, not for wallowing, or even asking, "why me?"  Why NOT me!?  When these are the shaping factors of our lives.  Ohhh how I hope that everyone got to watch this last conference! (: It was incredible!  
Basically over here in South Tucson, I just feel sooo much love!  I love these friends of mine so much! They are my family.  I will be so sad to leave them!  This next week is transfer week and it's sort of up in the air right now.  I could stay and I could leave.  But either way, it will be where I am needed.  Great things are starting to happen here and I am grateful that I have been a part of it and able to see this area start progressing.  I have felt the prayers of others lifting me when I could not lift myself. I just feel so loved and supported out here! By family, friends, and friends and family that I have met here (: How I love this work! (: Sometimes I will randomly think to myself, Hey! I'm a missionary.  It hits me every-now-and-then!  But then I realize, I always have been...and I always will be!! It is not hard at all.  (:
Just a little side note: Everyone I know should watch the Mormon Messages: Bullying-Stop it! and Things As They Really Are
If you caught this as well, much of the conference was geared toward the youth and the ever-growing popularity of falling along the wayside of this wayward world.  And thus I would insist on any, to watch those little videos!  They are so great (:
Shine on!! (: